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Some Bass Clef Questions

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by mickeyw3340, Nov 26, 2003.

  1. Trying to learn to sight read the bass line on the Bass Clef instead of playing arond the guitar chord charts.

    1. If on the Bass staff you have one note above or below another ... which one would the bass play? For instance..the guitar chord for the measure is a G. On the bass staff there is a D note on the third line and a G note on the first line. Which one should be played, the lower one G to match the guitar chord, or the upper one, the D. IS there a rule? If there is more than one note written, would the bass always play the lower or the upper?

    2. If on the staff, the b is always flatted, indicated by a flat symbol on the second line at the beginning of the staff.... would all B notes be flatted even those above the staff on the space before the first upper ledger line?

    3. If a specific B note is to be flatted in one single measure, indicated by a symbol on that specific note only , would all B notes after that on the same measure also be flatted? Or does that apply only to that one occurence of the B?

    This may sound basic, but yes I have a general knowledge of music theory, but am trying to come back up to speed learning to play the bass cleff?
  2. 1. If the D is directly above the G then you should play a double stop... playing both the G (3rd fret) and D (5th fret) simultaneously.

    2. Yes, unless there's an accidental.

    3. All B's in that measure would be flatted unless indicated otherwise. Once you go over the bar line it would return to B natural.

    Hope this helped, good luck.
  3. tuBass


    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
    remember, there's no such thing as a stupid question, just stupid guitarists.
  4. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    Yes, if you are reading musisc specifically for bass. But, if you are using piano music as your guide, most all of it is going to doubled or even tripled.

    If that is the case, play the lowest note on the staff.
  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I don't think this will necessarily work - the piano could be playing an inversion of the chord that won't work - the thing is not to play piano music - except on a piano!

    I would say you are better off making up your own bass line rather than playing a line written for piano. Unless you are going to play it all, with some technique like two-handed tapping!!
  6. Yep. I've never heard of a bassist having to play in unison with a piano for no particular reason other than there not being any bass music. If the bass part isn't written out you'd surely have a chart or symbols.
  7. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    I kind of got the impression that he was just playing anything written in bass clef to practice. I thought his use of piano music was implied. But, in reading his post again, it isn't necessarily implied.

    When I was learning to read, I played the lower notes of piano music all the time. Alone of course.

    If I am actually playing with people and all I have is piano music, I usually just take a look at the key sig and wing it from there. If the piano player is playing a heavy bass line (after several minutes of incessant whining of course) I just play a low pad, almost like a string part.

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